Cultivating Love

Four years ago, moved by individual experience, we began with the idea that we could collect and redistribute material goods that will ease the pain of poverty in neighborhoods around our country. We rolled with that idea; it was simple and the effect was profound. Personally, we learned a lot from it, and experienced a paradigm shift about the nature of poverty and wealth.

We have to acknowledge that there isn’t enough stuff in the world to solve the problems that we’ve encountered on the streets of America. Socks and coats and blankets will not heal all the broken hearts and rebuild all the burned up bridges. But… there is something way better than stuff, and we can BE it.

Love can change our communities from the inside out… The same way our hearts can change our minds. We can reconnect. We can come together to create a new vision. One that is more symbiotic, more sustainable, more loving to each other and every other speck of light and life on this planet.

As nomads we created a community on the road. After all these years, we’re still just a ragtag team of happy volunteers. We don’t have much, but we have time and we have energy. We can put it behind something… and in early February of 2013 we followed the winds to Socorro, New Mexico.

There were four of us when we arrived at the honey farm, and we were told that we could work in exchange for a place to park the camper and the trucks. Someone suggested that it might give us a break from the urban scene, after 4 months of truck-camping in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Denver. I had this strange sensation, at our last stop before we arrived on the farm that whatever happened here would be incredibly important. These past few years in my travels, I’ve met so many people who have pointed me in the way of farming, of cultivating… And not just plants and animals, but community. Love.

Here at the bee farm, we provide love for sheep, chickens, pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats and gardens, but the farm hosts travelers and friends from all over the country. It’s a community built by generosity and good faith. We trade labor and favors, we play chess and go hiking together. We live and work with everybody.

When we first arrived here, we started using any free time we had to volunteer at the local homeless shelter and food pantry. In the first few months we did a big local food drive, a 4th of July fundraiser, and then a booth at the county fair. Through all of that, we met a lot of local folks both on and off the streets of our little desert community. Those relationships have poured into the camper, the house, the farm, the ranch, and even the animals. For example, the 12 rabbits we needed to start our breeding program were a gift from a fellow-volunteer at the food pantry. Friendship, kindness; these virtues are invaluable in an environment that is symbiotic in nature. Sharing is caring, and more for you is more for me too.

Beekeeping is a semi-nomadic profession all by itself, and these particular beekeepers also have a farming project up in Colorado. We’ve been traveling back and forth between the two properties, moving sheep and working on building projects in both places simultaneously. The honey enterprise that funds this little community also keeps us moving throughout the southwest, marketing varietal natural honeys from the farm in Socorro at craft shows and town festivals. We work with other farmers in New Mexico who produce cheese and raise chickens, trading for much of our food. Almost every week we find ourselves waking up in new places and spaces. Innovative people all over the country are investing in their communities, providing education and opportunity, as well as fresh and healthy produce.

We are learning about an alternative lifestyle, and alternate choice; one that more accurately projects and reflects our intentions. There are millions of people all over the world that are working together to create a more loving, healthier, and balanced reality. Watch the blog stream on the main page of the website or subscribe for email updates if you want to read about something inspiring, something hopeful. If you want to see a picture of a world that’s getting better all the time.

We’ve separated the concept of poverty with our finances, and we’ve begun to understand the true poverty of the soul. But we want to show you what wealth looks like. It’s not big houses and fat savings accounts. More like something else entirely in a paradise of the most upside-down paradigm.

We don’t know how long we’ll be working with these farms in the southwest, but we’ll try to show you as we go. Through our 501c3, Insight Projects Inc, you can participate in any number of projects on the farm or in the neighboring communities of Socorro, as well as contribute to the partnerships that we’ve built across the country. You can come see what we’re doing, come learn about the farm in New Mexico, you can even work! We love help and we are accepting volunteers. We still hold food and clothing drives, and encourage you to do the same.

I hope that you’ll enjoy sharing this journey with me as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with you. Love can not be contained. It simply is, and that’s everything.

Blessings and Love,

Shay

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